Freewaters

Let’s do some good, little by little, step by step.

Monday 2 June 2014, by Omar

A. The main facts about the activities of the company.

Freewaters is an independent company that produces Footwear for Men and Women. It was founded in 1997 by Martin and Eli, who studied together at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. Initially they were working separately, designing Snowboard boots and wetsuits. But after ten years they decided that “as humans, we wanted to make a positive difference in the world”.

B. The Ethical challenges this company is addressing.

They design and produce high quality casual footwear, but at the same time they organise and finance projects to deliver clean drinking water to the world.

Materials:
Their course of sustainability and ethic goes through their whole production chain. They use mainly recycled and green materials and refrain from toxic materials such as PVC.

Water Projects:
With the money they make through their business they finance well digging projects all over the world, using the low-cost technique developed by Water for All International.

This technique has the benefits that:
• Extremely low cost
• Equipment can be sourced and made locally
• Managed and maintained by the community
• Can be completed in under 7 days
• Easy to teach and replicate
• Can provide water to 400 people per day

C. What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it?

In our opinion, all the information they display on their website is a great indicator for the credibility of this company.

They provide information on their projects as well as their products. The blog on the website serves to follow the progress they make. In their Customer Care sections one can ask question that will be answered, for example one customer once asked whether the products are vegan-friendly (i.e. Leather/Suede). Additionally they offer a lifetime warranty on all their products, which is “a reflection of our commitment to quality and to the highest level of customer service”.

Moreover, one can find stories about their engineers, which are local people, about the experience of each project, and the local people involved.

D.The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

Since they do a lot of work in Kenya, constantly tense political and military situation in this region of the world is one of the more serious challenges they may face in advancing in their water projects.

Another challenge they have, from an economic point of view, is that they have very few own stores to sell their products. Most of their distribution goes over retailers or the online shop.

Bibliography

http://freewaters.com

http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/wsh0404/en/

http://www.waterforallinternational.org

Sector: Manufacturing

Official website: http://www.freewaters.com

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